14JUL2021 – OCF Update Mid-July Report

This will be an outrage free day.  Even though Bastille Day is not my idea of a holiday worth celebrating today is a joyous occasion in my house.  I will therefore accentuate the positive.

I think I will initiate a series of posts devoted to various facets of Western Civilization.  I’ll range over history, culture, ethnography and geography.  I’m tempted to start from ancient historical and geographical facts about the region and then move forward through time introducing the various actors as  they appear on the scene.  Now do I start with the Neanderthals?  Finding out they were red-heads means the Irish may want to claim then for their own.

I will include information on the Yamnaya who appear to have been the mythical proto-Indo-European tribe that expanded East and West and spawned the languages that now dominate half the planet.  Not bad for a bunch of bronze age horsemen from the steppes.  I’d like to touch on especially some of the lesser known nations of Europe, the Georgians, the Lithuanians, the Letts, the Finns and others.  this will serve the dual purpose of allowing me to produce interesting and upbeat content and at the same time satisfy my curiosity about things I’ve always wanted to know.

But just to show I’m not an Indo-European chauvinist, (well actually I am), I’ll include information on the Basques.  These seem to be the descendants of the oldest inhabitants of Europe from a time before the Indo-European ancestors came on the scene.  Or at least before their languages began to dominate.  And I won’t neglect our neighbors to the east.  The river valley civilizations of the Near East were the source of agriculture that was the basis for organized human life on the planet.  So I’ll throw the Sumerians in just to show I’m a sport.  Do I have to include the Egyptians?  I guess I might.  Without them we wouldn’t have had those mummy movies.  Well, we’ll see.

And I mean to trudge on through the third season of Star Trek.  I’ve been dragging my feet because it is a terrible season.  But I’ve promised myself I’ll finish it.  As I’ve mentioned I intend to review Jackie Gleason’s classic 39 episodes of “The Honeymooners” series.  But I probably need to at least start into the Star Trek work to allow myself the reward of watching something fun like the Honeymooners.

The endless rain here in New England continues.  I’ve adapted to the annoying reality of it but I do hope that the second half of July returns to the normal hot dry summer I prefer.  Well, we’ll see.

So this may be a slow day.  I’ll write what the mood provides and enjoy a dinner out for once.  I’m bringing Camera Girl to our favorite Chinese restaurant and we’ll embrace the Orient for a change.

Festivus For the Rest of Us

The geniuses in Washington have made “Juneteenth” a federal holiday.  First of all, Juneteenth?  That’s a word?  Couldn’t that also stand for June 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, or 18th?  Can I call July 11th Juleventh?  And how would I know it doesn’t mean July 7th?  And do we all get to pick a federal holiday now?

Frank Costanza made a strong case for Festivus (December 23).  What with the feats of strength and airing of grievances it seems like a natural for the age we live in.  And personally, I favor Colour Blindness Awareness Day (September 6) but could see people having their own favorites.

But Juneteenth?  Isn’t that what Martin Luther King’s Birthday is for?  How will the Puerto Ricans feel about this?  And where will this leave the Tierra del Fuegians and the Patagonians?  And what about the Eskimos?

 

Well, anyway here is my list of holidays from which to replace Juneteenth (special consideration to names in bold type):

February 27                                                        National Pancake Day (USA)

February (first Saturday)                               Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

March 1                                                                National Pig Day (USA)

March 10 or Friday of first full week        Middle Name Pride Day

March 20                                                             World Sparrow Day

March (First Saturday)                                   National Corndog Day

April 1                                                                   Edible Book Festival

April 11                                                                 International Louie Louie Day

1st Saturday in May                                        World Naked Gardening Day

May 4                                                                    Star Wars Day

May 25                                                                 Towel Day

May 26                                                                 National Paper Airplane Day

June (First Friday)                                            National Donut Day

June 2                                                                   International Whores’ Day

June 24                                                                 Take Your Dog to Work Day

July 2                                                                     World UFO Day

July 26                                                                   Esperanto Day

September 6                                                      Colour Blindness Awareness Day              (my personal favorite)

September 19                                                    International Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 22                                                    Hobbit Day

September 28                                                    Ask a Stupid Question Day

October 4                                                            Cinnamon roll day

October 11                                                          World Obesity Day

October 16                                                          National Boss Day (Boss’s Day)

October 18                                                          World Vasectomy Day

October 21                                                          International Day of the Nacho

November 19                                                     World Toilet Day

November (First Friday in November)     Love Your Lawyer Day

December 14                                                     Monkey Day

December 23                                                     Festivus               (for the rest of us)

Abstract Macro

So you might be saying to yourself, “Boy, that’s a weird looking one.  What was he thinking putting that up?”

I’ll make a story out of it.  Why not?  It was a sort of an oddball day.

As I’ve noted, we’re in the silly season and I couldn’t bear to read about Joe Burden telling us about how he rassled with Vlad the Impaler and forced him to raise the price of oil to a thousand dollars a barrel to save the world from green house gasification.

So I spent today outside digging some weeds and planting some seeds and playing around with the camera.  In fact I spent so much time that I lost track and actually filled up the 64 Gbyte memory card I had in the camera.  Now it wasn’t empty when I started, far from it, but I got so wrapped up taking photos of bugs and flowers and mosses and mushrooms that I definitely took way too many shots.  And that’s why someday I will have to do a massive purge of bad and mediocre images.  I have something like a million files and I could easily get rid of 75% of them if I had the heart to face that task.

Believe it or not I have images many times worse than the ones I put up on the photo of the day!  So I had to stop and empty out the files onto the desktop.  But then I got distracted.  I started looking through the images and I started liking some of them.  And then I got playing around with them.  I’d crop them mercilessly to see some tiny corner or center that had some geometric or pattern thing going on.  And before I knew it the day had disappeared.  But it was fun.  So I figured I’d share the reverse order of what I was doing today.

 

 

 

 

So as you can see even weeding has its moments.

 

 

12JUN2021 – OCF Update

As you may have noted, my daily photo is now solidly past photos of summer 2020 and into the fall with autumn foliage colors and leaves all withered and sear.

Juxtaposed against the very verdant summer outside my window I find it stimulating to enjoy the contrast.  And it reminds me not to waste the chance of getting out in the world and soaking up the summer air and sun.  It’s turned cool and rainy today and we’ll have a bit of cool weather for a few days but with any luck global warming will come to my rescue.

After the elation I described in conquering the lawn mower repair I bragged that I was looking for new worlds to conquer with my newly minted mechanical aptitude.  Well, pride goeth before the fall and Camera Girl reminded me that I had promised to fix a leaky drain line on the kitchen sink.  I was going to call a plumber.  The line is one of those new-fangled plastic lines that have invaded our piping systems of late.  And I’ll bet dollars to donuts it will require all kinds of fittings and adhesives that I do not possess.  Well, what can you do.  My pride won’t let me call the professional now.  Well, not until the water gets too deep.

Tyler Cook of the Portly Politico and I have decided to cross link on our reviews for the 2019 movie based on H.P. Lovecraft’s story “The Colour Out of Space.”  We both thought this movie was awful but we thought that readers should enjoy the nuanced differences between the reviews.  Actually what you’ll see is our two styles.  Tyler is a witty and intelligent writer and I like to rant.  This exciting literary event will occur at 6:30 AM Monday, June 14th 2021.

On the politics side we are firmly into the Silly Season lull but there are stories emerging that indicate that the “Great Reset” is a partnership between Woke Capital and the Joe Burden administration.  Apparently Black Rock Capital will buy up all the suburban real estate so our kids and grandkids will have to rent from them in perpetuity.  On a positive note DeSantis in Florida, Abbott in Texas and some of the other governors are starting to make noise about taking a stand against the feds and the woke corporations and fight for our rights as unwilling serfs.  Abbott doesn’t seem like a real conservative but maybe he’s smart enough to know which way the wind is blowing.  DeSantis may be the real deal.  Time will tell.  Maybe we actually aren’t licked yet.

Anyway, plenty of fun stuff to write about.  Stay tuned.

Who We Are (And Who Isn’t Part of Us) – Part 1

Recently (well about a week and a half ago) I was talking to an old friend and he was talking about how all these leftists were on our side.  Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi and various homosexuals and lesbians were all up in arms about being cancelled and didn’t I think it was great that we were getting all this support from former enemies.

And I said no, these weren’t friends or even allies.  These were people just slightly to the right of Trotsky who were upset because they hadn’t gotten the orders from Left Central about how they were supposed to go along with virtually anything the Left said while Donald Trump was still in office.

Sure, I thought it was admirable that Greenwald and Taibbi had shown journalistic integrity in refusing to say that two plus two equals five but it’s not as if they believe anything else that I believe in.  They believe that America is a racist, intolerant country full of ignorant rubes who need to be reprogrammed.  They just don’t want the cancel culture to reprogram them too.

So, this got me thinking.  How do we define us?  Or rather how do I define us?  Because I’m sure that everyone on the Right has a slightly different definition of what he thinks the Right is.  This is actually a pretty important idea.  In the past conservatives have ended up in the wilderness or have followed a fake conservative based on whether they were more or less particular about who was inside their tent.

There are different ways to approach this sort of thing.  A politician would look at it from a strategic point of view because he is trying to maximize his voter base.  Of course, that is how you end up with gay marriage and Bruce Jenner in a sundress.  From my point of view, I guess I’ll look at two criteria.  The first is who wants things that I can’t tolerate.  The second is who won’t tolerate things that I want.

Let’s look at the first criterion.  What are the policies that will keep you out of my coalition of the annoyed?  There are some pretty big balloons floating around in this one.  Anyone who wants gay marriage is out.  Anyone who wants to legalize pedophilia is out.  Anyone who favors slavery reparations is out.  Anyone who wants to make illegal aliens citizens is out.  Anyone who favors affirmative action is out.  Anyone who wants gays in the military is out.  Anyone who wants to drop the physical requirements for the military is out.  Anyone who wants women in combat units is out.  Anyone who believes there are more than two sexes is out.  Anyone who thinks children should be allowed to be sexually mutilated because they’ve been brainwashed into thinking they belong to a different sex is out.  Anyone who thinks BLM and Antifa shouldn’t be rounded up and imprisoned for life is out.  Anyone who thinks George Floyd was an innocent victim is out.

Hey that’s a pretty good list.  Now let’s look at the second criterion.

Anyone who says that hate speech is a crime is out.  Anyone who says the second amendment doesn’t mean Americans can own and carry guns is out.  Anyone who says that I don’t have the right of free association is out.  Any one who says the government can close down my business and force me to wear a mask indefinitely is out.  Anyone who says that America is a terrible place with a terrible history is out.  Anyone who says that white people are evil because of their race is out.  Anyone who says that anyone is morally better or worse without reference to that person’s actual actions is out.  Anyone who enforces speech codes like forcing me to use “preferred pronouns” is out.  Anyone who wants to teach that any of the things included here are good things is also out.

And that’s a pretty good start on that side too.

I called this Part 1 because it’s meant to be a talking paper.  I’m interested in what other people think of my list.  Would they add or subtract anything for their own list?  That discussion would be a good subject for Part 2.  So look over my list and comment.  What have I left out that’s on your list?  What would you remove?  Have your say.

Putting Things in Perspective – Part 2 – Civil War Analogy

After discussing the Revolutionary War last time, the next major historical comparison I’d like to look at is the one comparing our situation to the mid-nineteenth century American Civil War.  In this comparison the Left is equated with the historical “North” and the Right with the “South.”

We’ll start with things that do align in this comparison.  The cultural and intellectual elites of the Abolitionist Movement do line up well with the modern Left.  In fact, there is probably a decent number among today’s Woke Left that are direct descendants from the Abolitionists themselves.  And certain historians believe that the culture of New England and its exports to areas like the Great Lakes area and the Pacific Coast states have preserved the viewpoint and authority of the nineteenth century elites from that region of the country.  From that point of view there is a certain direct analogy between the Northern Abolitionist Leadership and the Modern Left.

But let’s look at some of the other factors.  First of all, let’s look at the driving force of the cause.  The Abolitionists wanted to end slavery.  It’s hard to over stress just how popular this cause was.  It was evident to even many Southerners that slavery was an evil that could not be justified by its benefits to the economy.  For a country whose whole existence is expressed in the single word freedom, slavery is anathema.  Therefore, the moral underpinnings of the Civil War were very powerful.  Certainly, the Southern States were able to muster a justification for the practice of slavery but at no time did this justification convince anyone outside of the South and not even everyone inside.  So, the abolition of slavery was a cause that resonated broadly around the United States outside of the Deep South.

But look at the current agenda of the Woke Left.  It is a rag tag grab bag of radical ideas and identity politics grievances that isn’t even rationally self-consistent.  Feminism and even lesbian feminism are at odds with transgender “rights.”  And the BLM agenda of eliminating the police won’t stand scrutiny by other communities like Asians and Hispanics now that they see that it equates to wholesale criminal anarchy.  It is far from certain that even in the “Blue States” that the whole agenda of the radical Left is entirely acceptable.  This is a major difference between the Civil War situation.  The Left’s agenda today is far less popular than the abolition of slavery was back then.

The next consideration is the location of each “side.”  The Confederacy was never able to convince even some of the slave states to join in its revolt.  The border states Kentucky, Missouri and Maryland never seceded.  And even an area of Virginia refused to join and “seceded” from Virginia to become West Virginia and remain with the Union.  Inside the free states there weren’t any large areas that would have joined the South or opposed the abolition of slavery for the most part.

But look at today.  Instead, the Red and Blue States are only an indicator of the majority status of each side in a state.  But geographically we can see that this is really a city versus countryside polarization.  The cities in the Red States are full of Leftists for the most part and even deep Blue States like California and New York have rural areas that are completely red.  This definitely helps our side.  These concentrated populations of Leftists work well when you want to cheat during an election but it doesn’t help much when you are trying to control a population that is diffused over thousands of square miles in some cases.  Controlling the back country especially when it is adjacent to a Red State may turn out to be an impossible job.

And finally in the 1860’s the slave states were so afraid of a Republican holding the White House that they seceded before Lincoln could even assemble his government.  We’ve seen two truly woke administration already.  Obama and now Biden.  And Biden is using all the force of the federal government to destroy our way of life.  But what it seems to show is that determined state leaders can use the state laws to combat these Woke orders and possibly nullify their effects without having to leave the Union.  This is still a preliminary evaluation but I think it is worth seeing if the lessons learned from Sanctuary Cities can be applied to other issues like Second Amendment Rights and First Amendment Freedoms.

So, from the point of view comparison, it seems to me that our side is significantly better off in the present situation than the South was during the Civil War.  And that is definitely a thing to be happy about.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – On Boys’ Books and Real Rocket Ships

Loved the book (Treasure Island) as a lad. In fact, I read it to my brother who was not old enough to read at the time and we played pirates for months on end. One of the greatest boy’s books ever written, true. I’d put it up there with Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn. Billy Bud, Call of the Wild, Johnny Tremain, Old Man and the Sea, Old Yeller (and Savage Sam), Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, Red Badge of Courage, the Time Machine, War of the Worlds, White Fang, both Jungle Books, Have Space Suit – Will Travel, Tunnel in the Sky, Podkayne of Mars and Rocket Ship Galileo.

Along with the old Boy Scout Handbook, circa 1950-ish.

There was another series, the title/author of which I cannot remember, written for boys. The hero was a Poindexter-like young genius who solved issues such as he broke a case because the witness said they saw a squirrel backing down a tree. Squirrels always run down a tree head first, so the witness lied. A bit Sherlockian but set in Middle America. A bit like the Hardy Boys but better written, I thought. The hero used his brain and his studies and as a skinny young lad never resulted to violence or other like heroics.

One of my favorite Jules Verne novels was turned into a classic comic. “Steam House”, about a group of British nationals traversing India in a trailer thing pulled by a stem powered, mechanical elephant. I read all of Vern’s novels as well as a lad. I was amazed at seeing things he predicted in his novels come true.

I read Big Little books as well “Phantom”, “Mac and the Marines”, “Alley Oop” etc. Heck, I practically taught myself to read on the pulps like “Amazing Stories”.

“Rolling Stones” was pretty good. Castor and Pollux showed up again in “Number of the Beast” which was definitely NOT a children’s book. I preferred “Between Planets” until I learned what Venus was really like on the surface, which Heinlein could not have known at the time it was written. Blast you, Carl Sagan. 😉

I was an omnivorous reader as a child. Sci-fi, dad’s Zane Gray and Louis L’Amour books, anything written by Sam Clemens and Rudyard Kipling. I went through the child’s section at the local library in short order and then onto anything written about dinosaurs and aircraft/space. Dad worked for North American Aviation, later called Rockwell then Rocketdyne. He helped develop the X-15, OV-10, A-5, B-70 and others, as well as worked on the Saturn V boosters and Dino-Soar reentry vehicle and ICBM’s. He brought home color photos and posters for me to hang on the wall of the aircraft he helped develop. He also recommended many books on jets and space vehicles, as well as westerns (his favorite genre).

Dad and mom had rings made from a reentry missile nosecone that had been in space and suffered the fiery reentry. Whatever it was made from, only diamonds could cut it and it took them time. It was like white gold but never tarnished and no chemicals ever had any effect on it.  It must have been some titanium alloy as it looked like white gold and easily survived reentry.  It had his first name and hers on their rings, and the engraving took a week with a special diamond tip. Both were buried with them.

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The Babylon Bee Teaches Husbands How to Help With the Housework

It’s this kind of good advice that every husband wants.  Painless chores.  The Babylon Bee has gotten to the heart of the timeless husband/wife work dynamic.  Basically husbands want their wives to replace their mothers and take care of all the chores.  And as a husband in good standing I say, “Don’t carry that heavy pile of laundry up the stairs, make two trips!”

https://babylonbee.com/news/how-to-help-your-wife-with-house-work-without-putting-too-much-effort-in

 

Guest Contributor – TomD – Weapons and Self-Defense

I don’t know to what extent it would be applicable but I have a lifelong intimate exposure to firearms starting, due to my Southern hunting heritage, in my preteens, followed by 4 years in the Marines, followed by 30 years of competitive rifle, shotgun and pistol shooting. I’ve competed extensively at up to 1000 yards and can hit within a paint can lid at that distance.